Telegraph Sounder

Description (Brief):

Telegraph sounders convert electrical pulses into audible sounds and are used to receive Morse code messages. The message travels as a series of electrical pulses through a wire. Short pulses make a dot, slightly longer pulses make a dash. The sequence of dots and dashes represent letters and numbers. The pulses energize the sounder’s electromagnets which move a lever-arm. The arm makes a loud “click” when it strikes a crossbar and the operator translates the pattern of sounds into the original language. This sounder was reportedly used by Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian, in his experimental work. Henry made significant accomplishments in developing electromagnets that directly affected telegraph equipment design.

Date Made: ca 1860

User: Henry, JosephMaker: Chester, Charles T.Chester, J. N.

Location: Currently not on view

See more items in: Work and Industry: Electricity, Communications, Telegraph Sounders


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: from the Smithsonian Institution Collection of Apparatus, thru William C. Winlock

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: EM.181450Catalog Number: 181450Accession Number: 2006.0177

Object Name: telegraph receivertelegraph sounderOther Terms: telegraph sounder; Telegraphy

Physical Description: wood (overall material)brass (overall material)steel (overall material)copper (overall material)cloth (overall material)lead (overall material)paper (overall material)Measurements: overall: 4 in x 4 5/8 in x 8 1/2 in; 10.16 cm x 11.7475 cm x 21.59 cm


Record Id: nmah_712418

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